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Stalwart Hip Hang

April 13, 2015
Mao Mao Chong

In ever-evolving Beijing, a smorgasbord of new restaurants, bars, and roasters sprout up just about every other week (the pick of the recent crop includes The Foxhole and C5 Cafe), while old reliables (think My Humble House and Ocean Grounds) are still expected to maintain their relevance. So it says a lot that hidden hutong charmer Mao Mao Chong has remained a consistent local foodie favourite for over six years, without ever having needed to tweak its simple formula of gourmet pizzas coupled with creative cocktails.
The rustic little nook has a certain timeless quality courtesy of original wooden beams, wicker lampshades overhanging a polished concrete counter, and artwork by the multi-talented owners adding a splash of colour and intrigue to the white walls. Those looking to keep it intimate should arrive early to secure one of the two-top tables, from where you can tuck into a selection of traditional thin-crust pies, calzones, or chicken parmigiana (the latter is mysteriously only served once a week).
As the night draws in, the city’s sippers pile in for inventive tinctures like the Tail of the Dragon, mixed with house-infused lemongrass and chilli vodka, coconut milk and lychee liqueur. But with the warmer months approaching keep your peepers peeled for seasonal, occasional ice pops in flavours like White Chocolate Pina Colada or Sichuan peppercorn-spiked Mala Mule. Mao wow!
12 Ban Chang Hutong / Dongcheng / +86 10 6405 5718 / 6pm-midnight Tue-Thu, noon-3pm & 6pm-1am Fri-Sat, noon-1am Sun